Reviews lean positive on Pixel Buds, Google's answer to Apple's AirPods

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in General Discussion
Some of the first major reviews of Google's Pixel Buds have emerged, mostly espousing a favorable opinion of the AirPods competitors, albeit with some tough criticisms.




The harshest review may belong to Gizmodo, which complained about things like the charging case, a troublesome pairing process, and the earbuds' real-time translation feature, which requires a Pixel phone that must also be held in front of the person a user is talking to. Likewise, talking to Google Assistant requires a phone with Android Marshmallow (6.0) or higher, and the buds can only be connected to Android or iOS devices, not laptops or desktops.

Audio quality was said to be equivalent to Apple's wired EarPods -- crisp, but without much bass. Touch-sensitive controls on the right earbud were said to be too easy to trigger accidentally.

"In a shocking plot twist, the Apple [AirPods] earbuds are more versatile than the Google earbuds and actually work with Android devices as well as laptops and other Bluetooth-enabled gadgets," the site commented.

VentureBeat was significantly more positive, calling them an "a pretty powerful answer to AirPods, and a first move toward an AI assistant in your ear." The site pointed to Assistant's ability to do everything from walking directions to emergency help or ordering a pizza.

Like Gizmodo, Forbes had trouble with pairing, but said the Pixel Buds "sound great," "offer some very cool features," and let people listen to music without taking their phone out of their pocket.

Axios suggested that the Pixel Buds are good for people who have a Pixel phone and/or travel internationally, but should be skipped by people who already have nice wireless headphones or who want the smallest and most comfortable pair.

"Apple's AirPods are more elegant as well as smaller and more comfortable," the site said.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    So, in no way similar, and really not as good, yet they are an "answer"... Ok then.
    Apple is likely to come up soon with version 2 of the airpod
    anantksundaramentropysStrangeDaysmagman1979watto_cobraairnerdneo-techjbdragonHawk5263jony0
  • Reply 2 of 35
    roakeroake Posts: 619member
    But do they ship without an operating system?
    edited November 2017 JaiOh81magman1979caliwatto_cobraairnerdjbdragonjony0
  • Reply 3 of 35
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,899moderator
    Those excerpts didn’t seem to be leaning very positive.  Had those complaints existed for Airpods (trouble pairing, troublesome charging case, etc), you can be sure no reviewer would consider them a pretty powerful answer to anything.   But what I love most is that there was no criticism of the wire between them, which seems a bit legacy for wireless ear buds and makes stowing them away in their charging case a bit more burdensome.  But hey, they aren’t made by Apple, so... it’s all good, right? 
    thtStrangeDayslordjohnwhorfinmwhitedanhmagman1979muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobraairnerdrandominternetperson
  • Reply 4 of 35
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,436member
    Or, google isn’t held to the same standard, radathekat.
    apple must be perfect, google good enough.
    lordjohnwhorfinbluefire1magman1979watto_cobraradarthekatjbdragonHawk5263badmonkjony0cornchip
  • Reply 5 of 35
    Apple AirPods are one of the most unique, useful, and useable gadgets I've ever purchased. I'll admit it was very tough to shell out so much money for a couple of pieces of lightweight plastic, but within minutes of using them I had zero regrets.

    I can't get past the appearance of these Google things - they look like something I'd expect to see by the cash register at a convenience store next to cigarette rolling papers, condoms, and diet pills. I can smell the Pine-Sol, cigarette smoke, and stale friend chicken grease already!
    slprescottracerhomiemagman1979watto_cobraradarthekataegeanairnerdretrogustojbdragonpscooter63
  • Reply 6 of 35
    Trying AirPods at the Apple store convinced me they were Bluetooth done right.
    dedgeckomagman1979watto_cobrazroger73Hawk5263cornchip
  • Reply 7 of 35
    Those excerpts didn’t seem to be leaning very positive.  Had those complaints existed for Airpods (trouble pairing, troublesome charging case, etc), you can be sure no reviewer would consider them a pretty powerful answer to anything.   But what I love most is that there was no criticism of the wire between them, which seems a bit legacy for wireless ear buds and makes stowing them away in their charging case a bit more burdensome.  But hey, they aren’t made by Apple, so... it’s all good, right? 
    Apple AirPods are the benchmark, and they know it. Pepsi isn't trying to beat RC Cola.
    ericthehalfbeemagman1979watto_cobraradarthekatairnerdrandominternetpersonHawk5263cornchip
  • Reply 8 of 35
    How can they be an answer to AirPods when they have a cord?  At best, they can be an answer to the BeatsX...and they don't appear to even compare to that.
    slprescottlordjohnwhorfinRayz2016racerhomiemagman1979watto_cobraradarthekatairnerdzroger73jbdragon
  • Reply 9 of 35
    Those excerpts didn’t seem to be leaning very positive.  Had those complaints existed for Airpods (trouble pairing, troublesome charging case, etc), you can be sure no reviewer would consider them a pretty powerful answer to anything.   But what I love most is that there was no criticism of the wire between them, which seems a bit legacy for wireless ear buds and makes stowing them away in their charging case a bit more burdensome.  But hey, they aren’t made by Apple, so... it’s all good, right? 
    Granted it’s Gizmodo, but they pointed that out as well as the silly .gif that Google provides instructing how to wrap said cable, otherwise the “flimsy case” can’t close. 
    watto_cobraradarthekatcornchip
  • Reply 10 of 35
    Trying AirPods at the Apple store convinced me they were Bluetooth done right.
    Agreed, but I’m still hesitant to purchase them considering how much I sweat when working out. I’ve burned through three LG Tones, my Jlab Epic 1 didn’t last three months, and it’s replacment, Jlab Epic 2 has issues immediately outside of the one year warranty. That’s $250 in wireless headsets over a couple years.  I’m hoping version two of the AirPods ships with the Qi-compliant charging case in the near future. 
    watto_cobraradarthekatairnerdjbdragoncornchip
  • Reply 11 of 35
    "a first move toward an AI assistant in your ear." The site pointed to Assistant's ability to do everything from walking directions to emergency help or ordering a pizza."

    Er, how are they saying it's first when AirPods also relay assistant functionality to your ear?
    racerhomiemagman1979watto_cobraradarthekatcornchip
  • Reply 12 of 35
    foggyhill said:
    So, in no way similar, and really not as good, yet they are an "answer"... Ok then.
    Apple is likely to come up soon with version 2 of the airpod


    With how good AirPods are already, imagine how great the 2nd version would be.
    magman1979watto_cobracornchip
  • Reply 13 of 35
    dedgecko said:
    Trying AirPods at the Apple store convinced me they were Bluetooth done right.
    Agreed, but I’m still hesitant to purchase them considering how much I sweat when working out. I’ve burned through three LG Tones, my Jlab Epic 1 didn’t last three months, and it’s replacment, Jlab Epic 2 has issues immediately outside of the one year warranty. That’s $250 in wireless headsets over a couple years.  I’m hoping version two of the AirPods ships with the Qi-compliant charging case in the near future. 
    The charging case won't help you if you are worried about the AirPods being adversely affected by sweat.  The AirPods are the same, it's just that the case no longer needs the lightning cable.  So if the current AirPods are susceptible to damage by sweat, the Qi compatible case won't make a difference.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 35
    dedgecko said:
    Trying AirPods at the Apple store convinced me they were Bluetooth done right.
     I’m hoping version two of the AirPods ships with the Qi-compliant charging case in the near future. 

    Well apple is building a new case for the AirPods that will work the powermat that's coming out next year so there's that. Since apple is using the Qi standard then, in theory, the new AirPod case should work with every Qi wireless charging device.
    watto_cobraradarthekat
  • Reply 15 of 35
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,521member
    They can’t be paired with a laptop?

    What??

    That doesn’t sound right. 

    Not sure. Gonna wait for the GoogleGuy explanation. 
    magman1979caliwatto_cobraStrangeDayshubbaxcornchip
  • Reply 16 of 35
    Silly Media they don’t even realize AirPods biggest advantages ,the W1 chip.
    This is The best Bluetooth I have ever experienced, and that’s with BeatsX, the non AirPods version.
    I still look at my older Awei BT headphones,and think why I had to restart the thing 3 to 4 times just to work properly and had random dropouts.
    The W1’s efficiency is what allowed Apple to get such awesome battery life (not enough for me,I NEED 8 hr)in such a small product. If the W3 gives AirPods 8-10 hr battery life ,I will definitely get that.

    caliwatto_cobrabrucemc
  • Reply 17 of 35
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Not even close But respect for not making them knockoffs. 
    watto_cobraradarthekat
  • Reply 18 of 35
    Apple got to market before Google...and still delivered a better product.  Color me not surprised.  

    I guess if you are one of the 8 people with a Pixel phone these might be good for you.  
    watto_cobramagman1979
  • Reply 19 of 35
    entropys said:
    Or, google isn’t held to the same standard, radathekat.
    apple must be perfect, google good enough.
    AAPL is a victim of their own success, and I say that in a most endearing way.  They set the bar high and now have to live up to it.  Had they started with junk, like Android, they could underwhelm and still claim victory.  
    watto_cobracornchip
  • Reply 20 of 35
    I think where the pixel buds (really? That name!) shine is access to Google’s voice assistant. Yes - it’s software - but after comparing it with Siri, Apple has a long way to go to get to Google’s level.
    Not being able to play back music in Spotify (because Apple blocks Spotify - something they should be sued for) and not being able to get a decent, spoken result for a search query are just a few examples why Siri performs so badly, which then obviously extends to their wireless buds and the soon to be released HomePod speakers.  
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